Paperback, 320 pages

English language

Published June 29, 2004 by Ace.

ISBN:
978-0-441-01217-6
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4 stars (16 reviews)

3 editions

reviewed A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt (An Alex Benedict Novel)

What an Incredible Story

5 stars

A Talent for War, by Jack McDevitt, was published in 1989. It’s the first in the series of books that follow Alex Benedict. The series is set far into the future when mankind has colonized a good portion of the galaxy, and the planets have their own cultures and histories.

Alex is an antiques dealer and the nephew of famed archeologist Gabe Benedict. Gabe has passed away leaving a mystery for Alex to uncover. The adventure leads him to confront an enemy of mankind and the find of a lifetime.

I wasn’t too sure how I’d like this book when I first started reading it. There were a lot of times where the action seemed to drag, but now that I’ve finished reading it, all of the seemingly minor details were quite important. For the story to make sense at the end, the I had to learn about a war …

reviewed A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt (An Alex Benedict Novel)

Review of 'A Talent For War' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

What a wonderful piece of space opera! A quick read, this book is full of navy-style starship combat, menacing aliens, and exotic planetary locales. It's fun stuff.

While it does have some of the bad properties of classic space opera (e.g., the narrator rates the beauty of every woman he meets), it also adds something to the formula: history. The hero is an archaeologist investigating mysteries of his society's past. Indiana Jones is an apt comparison, although Alex Benedict doesn't quite have the same wit.

Still, this historicity gives a resonance to the adventure. As the narrator uncovers truths of history that don't match the textbooks, the message is relevant for us as well: We think we know why things are the way they are but in the end, history is just a story we tell.

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